“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that. Because what the world
needs is people who have come alive.”
~ Howard Thurman
Howard Thurman (1899-1981) was raised in the segregated South by his grandmother, who had once been a slave. In 1925 he became an ordained Baptist minister, his first church assignment being Mt Zion Baptist Church in Oberlin, Ohio. After serving as a Professor of Religion at Morehouse and Spelman colleges, Thurman studied with Rufus Jones, head of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. In 1935-36 he took a group of African Americans to India to meet with Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi encouraged them to take the principle of non-violence to the world.
A PBS article on People of Faith stated “In 1944 Thurman left his position as dean at Howard University to co-found the first fully integrated, multi-cultural church in the U.S. in San Francisco, CA. The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples was a revolutionary idea. Founded on the ideal of diverse community with a focus on a common faith in God, Thurman brought people of every ethnic background together to worship and work for peace. ‘Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.’ “
Howard Thurman was the author of 21 books.